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Well after many months of training, travel, and of course working, I am finally sitting down at my desk to write a new draft for The Milky Way Blog! I recently returned from an amazing trip to Chicago Illinois where I had the privilege of learning many new techniques in The Myofascial Release Approach work of John F. Barnes, PT; and from the man himself, who taught many therapists at this most recent seminar in Women’s Health.

With that said, let me take a moment to introduce a new service at The Milky Way called “Women’s Holistic Health!” I really desired to have this addition to my practice as a way to offer therapy to all adult women and not only postpartum. This service will address many of the issues that we as women face such as breast pain and function, menstruation, menopause, and pelvic dysfunction. There are a lot of additional symptoms to add to this list but for now, I will try and keep it simple.

For more information on what this service entails, cost, and how to schedule an appointment, please visit milkywaydoula.com and click on the menu tab labeled Women’s Holistic Health.

Let’s get started by discussing the pelvis and then I can elaborate on the additional symptoms (above) in future blog posts. I will quote directly from an article that John Barnes wrote for Massage Magazine (Oct. 2008) where he explains his work with both the male and female pelvis. Enjoy!

The word pelvis originates from Latin meaning basin. What is the function of a basin? It holds fluid. You and I are more than 70- percent fluid.
Trauma and inflammatory responses tend to dehydrate the ground substance of the fascial system and ultimately cause symptoms. Restrictions or imbalances in the “fascial pelvis” can create problems locally and throughout the entire mind-body complex. My experience has shown that more than 90 percent of my clients suffering from lumbar and pelvic pain, headaches, or fibromyalgia have myofascial restrictions and imbalances in the pelvis.

Gender Differences
Men often struggle with pelvic, lumbosacral, and sacroiliac pain and tightness usually initiated by falls, athletic injuries, and other various traumas. The prostate gland consists of two small, fluid-filled sacs. Internal pelvic fascial restrictions can solidify this area and lead to prostate dysfunction.
Women tend to have more problems in the pelvic region due to the uniqueness of the anatomy and function of their pelvis. The female pelvis is broader and therefore more easily torqued. The joint surfaces of the female are flatter, therefore more easily moved or sheared during micro or major trauma.
I cannot tell you how many times I have heard stories of women being seen by doctor after doctor, taking more and more medication, as months and then years pass. Desperation sets in. Psychiatrists, talk therapy, psychologist, surgery, and more surgery-nothing helps. In fact, it continues to get worse over time and begins to spread to assorted symptoms throughout the body. The woman begins to wonder if maybe it is all in her head.
Myofascial release is utilized for the treatment of menstrual pain or dysfunction, back and pelvic pain, endometriosis, and other inflammatory disorders. It can successfully address unpleasant or painful symptoms during pregnancy and childbirth, recurrent bladder pain and infection, painful intercourse, sexual dysfunction, elimination problems, coccygeal pain, and painful episiotomy scars. These problems can, in many cases, be substantially alleviated or eliminated-nontraumatically and gently by myofascial release.

Every month when a woman undergoes her menstrual period, relaxin (hormone) is poured into her system, slackening the ligamentous structures and making her more prone to trauma. Myofascial release has helped many women with menstrual and premenstrual-syndrome symptoms. Just picture the fascia tightening like a powerful three-dimensional net around the pelvic structures. Then when the woman begins to bloat as her menstrual cycle begins, the combination of fascial tightness and increasing internal pressure begins to exert heavy pressure on the nerves, blood vessels, etc., and the cramps begin, the back tightens and all other unpleasant effects are a reaction to the abnormal internal pressure.

Fascia surrounds and infuses every organ, duct, nerve, blood vessel, muscle, and bone of the pelvic cavity. Fascia has the propensity to tighten after trauma, inflammatory processes, poor posture, or childbirth. Fascia has a tensile strength of more than 2,000 pounds per square inch.
In other words, fascial restrictions have the potential of exerting enormous pressure on pain-sensitive structures, producing pain or malfunction of the important pelvic structures. Certainly, not all problems have fascial origin, but restrictions of the fascia are the cause of many problems in a surprisingly high percentage of cases, especially when all the tests turn out negative and medication only helps temporarily or surgery does not change the situation.

For example, inflammatory processes, such as endometriosis, can cause the fascial layers to adhere to adjoining tissues, creating painful symptoms. Many times the fascial tissues will adhere around the bladder and urethral areas, creating an environment for infection, since fascial restrictions impede the proper elimination of toxins and waste produts from the tissues.
If the fascia tightens around the bladder, it can limit the bladder’s potential to enlarge sufficiently, creating the need to urinate frequently, or painful urination. When a woman coughs, sneezes or laughs, urine will tend to seep out since there is no give to the bladder.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Web site list the following facts regarding incontinence:
*Thirteen million Americans are incontinent, 11 million of whom are women
*One in four women aged 30 to 59 have experienced an episode of urinary tract infection
*Fifty percent or more of elderly persons living at home or in long-term care facilities are incontinent
*$16.4 billion is spent every year on incontinence related care; $11.2 billion for community-based programs and at home, and $5.2 billion in long-term care facilities
*1.1 billion is spent every year on disposable products for adults

Scars from abdominal or pelvic surgery, trauma, or episiotomy scars can also create havoc in the pelvic area, causing menstrual dysfunction, pelvic pain, painful intercourse, constipation, diarrhea, or hemorrhoids. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Women’s Health Information Center reports that 600,00 hysterectomies are performed per year in the U.S. In my opinion, oftentimes this procedure is unnecessary.

Coccygeal (tailbone) Disorders
Another common problem we encounter is coccygeal disorders from trauma, pelvic torsion, and childbirth. A malaligned coccyx can cause a multitude of problems in the pelvic area, including some of those just mentioned, as well as back and neck pain or headaches due to the influence of the dural tube.

When the coccyx moves closer to the pubic symphysis, the musculoaponeurotic fibers from the pubis to the coccyx become so slack they lose their tonus. If the origin and insertion of a muscle move closer together, a great portion of the muscle’s power is lost.

Typical symptoms of a sacrococcygeal lesion in a female subject are the inability to sit for long periods of time, declining quality of sexual relationships, and cystitis. Problems with the coccyx can lead to a general decrease in mobility of the entire body, and it should be checked in people who are devitalized or suffering from general depression.

The Missing Link
The non-traumatic, gentle nature of myofascial release is reassuring in that the patient need not worry, since these effective procedures will not worsen the patient’s symptoms or cause harm.

Myofascial release can free the structures producing pain and also relieve the emotional pain associated with past unpleasant events or traumas. The painful memories or emotions from beatings, rapes, molestation, or miscarriages seem to be stored in the body’s memory.

Many times the woman has dealt with these situations intellectually, but on a subconscious level, the body (the myofascial structures in particular) seems to store these past painful events. As myofascial release frees the adhered tissue, the trapped emotions and painful memories fade away, leaving the person with a sense of peace. This return to balance is like letting the steam out of a pressure cooker. The comments I hear quite frequently from my patients are, “I finally feel like myself again” and “My sense of calm has returned.”

Myofascial release is a state-of-the-art therapeutic approach. Myofascial release is not meant to replace the important techniques and approaches you currently utilize but acts as an important expanded dimension for increasing your effectiveness and permanency of results in relieving pain and restoring function, the quantity of motion, and quality of life.

John F. Barnes, P.T., L.M.T., N.C.T.M.B.

Using The Myofascial Release Approach from John F. Barnes, PT, women of childbearing age
through menopause will find relief with many issues affecting women such as:

  • Pelvic Dysfunction
  • Problematic Breast Implant / Reduction Scars
  • Postpartum Breast Issues (lactation, blocked duct, cyst, and infection)
  • Mastectomy Pain
  • Lymphedema
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Painful Scars
  • Menstrual Pain
  • Adhesions
  • TailBone Pain
  • Menopausal Symptoms
  • Anxiety and Emotional Traumas

Myofascial Release is a gentle kind of therapy that helps to unwind tension in connective
tissue (called fascia) surrounding our organs. Fascia is an all encompassing web of translucent
substance that covers not only our organs, but muscles, joints, membranes, bones, and cells.
Cell health is especially important for releasing fascial tension as these restrictions can cause
cellular death leading to disease. A healthy fascial system can equal overall wellness both
mentally and physically.

Take time for yourself. Motivational quote on letterboard and black alarm clock on pink background.

In addition to receiving therapy, the client will be given self care exercises and plan of care to do
at home for both after and in between scheduled sessions.

For a one hour therapy session the cost is $150. A superbill will be provided along with an
invoice and the amount may qualify for reimbursement from your insurance carrier.

About The Milky Way

The Milky Way is a Lactation Counseling, Pediatric & Postpartum Bodywork Practice located in the Temecula Valley of Southern California.

The Milky Way offers Virtual Lactation Counseling, Pediatric Bodywork for Optimal Oral Function, Massage Therapy, and Women’s Holistic Health!

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